Creativity, Culture and Collaboration
We invited established Colombian graffiti artist and NEO muralist, Ledania, to inject some colour into our 8M office. Mid-masterpiece she talked to us about her inspirations, how she landed in Singapore and what she thinks of our little red dot.
Tell us about your ‘work space’?
Here, I share a studio with other graffiti artists when I paint on canvas. But generally, the street walls, in this case, office walls, are my canvas.
Tell us about your mural / collaboration with 8M?
I’m very inspired by the shophouses and their surroundings. Usually I use lighter colours. But I got inspired by the space and took the main colours of the space and shophouses which were my main source of inspiration. I was trying to create depth into the space to make the environment bigger with the colours. So it makes you feel how I feel in Singapore, happy and inspired.
What’s the one thing you need to survive a busy workday?
Music. At times, I like the sound of the environment when I’m painting. Sometimes with a beer haha.
Who is your biggest influence?
My dad. He taught me all about art. He also taught me about the history, took me to museums, bought me books and also taught me how to paint on big formats. I’m more inspired by fine art, mainly impressionism even though my work doesn’t look like it. Artists that inspired me are Claude Monet, Manet, Basquiat, Warhol… all artists that changed the story of art in the world.
Who or what has helped inspire your art?
It gets inspired from the happiness of Latin America. From the handcrafted fabrics from Columbia and the Latin American continent. At all times I try to make my murals inject happiness into spaces. To communicate happiness, fun and relaxation. I don’t like to talk about negativity and stay away from topics such politics and religion. I try to make the environment more uplifting and happier for everyone.
What brought you to Singapore and what do you think of our city?
Covid. I was in Japan and then I was meant to go to Korea and Hong Kong, I had a lot of travelling planned. As the world started going crazy, I decided to take refuge here since it was safe, beautiful and I had never been. I enjoy it very much. Diversity is the word that bests describes Singapore for me. I love finding different cultures all the time. I feel happy because some days if I get “tired” of being somewhere I can easily “travel” locally. If I want to go to China I can just go to Chinatown, or Little India if I want to feel like I’m in India. I like the variety of temples and architecture and I like the diversity of all the mixed cultures here.
What has been your biggest challenge here as an artist?
At the beginning because of graffiti being illegal here it wasn’t easy. So finding legal spots to paint was challenging. We have this beautiful space where there’s a graffiti shop and some walls to practice. I had to get used to it. Most of the artists have the same walls which get painted over and over again. I had to unlearn not to fall in love with a piece that’s not going to last forever. With time, as people started to get to know me, I started getting opportunities to paint more spaces on legal walls, like here at your 8M office.
Have you had to adapt your art to fit into the local landscape at all?
Every place I go I try to be super respectful of the environment and cultural sensitivities. I give a presence to the community and be responsible with the themes I’m working with. So it depends on the environment what I’m going to do. For example, here at 8M’s office, it’s all about the shop houses and its surroundings. So I was very much inspired by the Peranakan tiles, which fits nicely with my work as they are very colourful, floral and peaceful. So I used that as a basis and incorporated them here.